The Pierce County Bears finished third in the Region 1-AAA tournament at the Bacon Park Tennis Complex in Savannah.

PCHS, which opened the tournament beating Dodge County before spring break, lost a heartbreaking 3-2 decision in the semifinals to eventual champion Brantley County. The Bears bounced back in the consolation match to beat Islands 4-1.

“The level of mental toughness and confidence shown by the guys was exceptional,” said head coach Millie Walker of the Brantley match. “I am pleased with their overall effort. was an awesome match. I am also pleased with our third-place finish in a tough region.”

Pierce traveled Tuesday to Region 4 runner-up Blessed Trinity in the opening match of the Class AAA state tournament.

Semifinals: Brantley County 3  - Bears 2

Jared Johns’ three-set victory at No. 1 singles was the deciding point helping the Herons hold off the upset bid of fourth-seed Pierce County.

Johns held off the challenge of Jake Herrin surviving a nearly three-hour slugfest to win 6-1, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4 at No. 1. The eventual win came after the two teams had split the other two singles matches and the doubles competition.

Jacob Sauls fell 6-3, 6-1 to Kyle Chapman at No. 2. Freshman Mason Bennett notched Pierce’s first win with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Hunter Yawn at No. 3.

Brantley’s No. 1 doubles team of Kade Chapman and Grant Jacobs posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Eric Smith and Dalton Fernandez. 

Pierce’s No. 2 team of Allen McIntosh and Caleb Williams outlasted Nick Alligood and Andrew Spradley posting a 6-3, 6-4 win.

Alligood and Spradley fell 6-3, 6-4 to Allen McIntosh and Caleb Williams at No. 2.

Consolation: Bears 4 - Islands 1

The Bears had a tough time in beating Islands in the third-place match.

Herrin bounced back for a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 1 and Bennett registered a 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 3. The lone loss came at No. 2 with Sauls falling 6-3, 6-2.

In doubles action, the team of Smith and Fernandez needed three sets to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Williams and McIntosh posted a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 2.